Posts Tagged ‘English’

Funny English: Rise of the vernacular

I spotted this package of underwear during a recent trip the the US.

Its “wedgie free®” comfort guarantee made me wonder: Since when is “wedgie” a polite enough word to use in marketing? And does everyone really know what a “wedgie” is? Last but not least, am I a hypocrite for using this semi-impolite word three times in a blog entry?

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doggy dews

My aunt spotted this and sent it to me. It’s hard to imagine what the people in charge were thinking when they named their business.

Sure, there are “hairdo’s” and “do’s and don’ts” — but after the word “dog”, anything that sounds like “doo-doo” is surely a “don’t”. Don’t you think?

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I noticed this orchid in the home of a 75-year-old Swiss woman.

Judging by the care tag, it seems the garden center didn’t have a clear idea of what a table dance actually entails. It reads:

“This group of orchids includes varieties that are especially suitable as table decorations because they bloom for so long.”

I wonder if they sell bean plants that are called “pole dance”?

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Is it so bad to be close? Spotted in a puppet shop in Bern. Indeed, it was closed, which made it easy for me to snap this photo.

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A Funny Laundry audience, photo by Julie Collins

 Over the past 100 years, English has steadily been creeping into the mouths and minds of people all over Europe. Within Switzerland, the ascension of the English-language can especially be seen in the amount of Anglo theatre and stand-up comedy on offer, and its continued popularity.

Click here to read my whole story in Swiss News magazine.

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Learning English can be a lot of fun.

An English-speaking stranger pops into a Swiss classroom, and she seems a little confused. But soon, Aunt Annie has the children contributing eagerly to the conversation.

Follow the link below to listen in on my classroom visit with Aunt Annie:


To learn more about the Aunt Annie programme, click here: http://www.auntannie.ch/

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Not sure I want to go in there ...

This isn’t a real example of funny English, but I think you’ll agree it’s worth including. I passed this little place in Basel — near Barfüsserplatz – which is where it gets its nickname.

It was closed so I can’t say whether the name was fitting, but judging from the outside, I’d say it was pretty cute.

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